Luis Jiménez (sculptor)
|Luis A. Jiménez Jr.|
July 30, 1940|
El Paso, Texas
|Died||June 13, 2006
Hondo, New Mexico
|Alma mater||University of Texas|
|Known for||fiberglass sculpture, prints|
Luis Jimenez or Luis A. Jiménez, Jr. (July 30, 1940 – June 13, 2006) was an American sculptor of Mexican descent. He was born in El Paso, Texas and died in New Mexico. He studied art and architecture at the University of Texas in Austin and El Paso, earning a bachelor's degree in 1964. His post-graduate work was at Cuidad Universitaria, Mexico City, D.F. in 1966. He became an accomplished artist and taught art at the University of Arizona and later the University of Houston.
Over the past 30 years, Jimenez has produced an extraordinarily consistent body of work informed by his highly developed craft skills, knowledge of art history and his particular placement in time. Jimenez was known for his large polychromed fiberglass sculptures usually of Southwestern and Hispanic themes. His works were often controversial and eminently recognizable because of their themes and the bright, colorful undulating surfaces that Jiménez employed. John Yau observes One of the underlying reasons his public sculptures have been controversial is because he keeps bringing into view that which has been overlooked; he keeps reminding us that our history is made up of many points of view, many tales and tellings. A reexamination of the context and purpose of public sculpture and the making(writing) and remaking(rewriting) of the untold tales and popular myths about the formation of the continually changing American West. He was influenced by the murals of José Clemente Orozco and Diego Rivera. Jimenez is very much a contemporary artist whose roots are in pop art, as much as they are in both the modernism of the Mexican muralists and the regionalism of Benton and Grant Wood. Heroic sculptures are Mr. Jimenez’ forte, but his art is for the people. Proud of his Chicano heritage and working class background, he champions the common man. Working in his father's shop, making neon signs, as well as lowrider car culture, featuring brightly painted fiberglass bodywork, were also artistic influences. He unapologetically finds his images in stereotypes and magnifies those stereotypes into a kind of celebration. As much as anything, what makes Jimenez’ sculpture alive, what makes it sculptural, it also gives life to Olmec heads, Aztec serpents, and the statues of Rodin, and the totems of David Smith: movement. The movement in the work of each gifted sculptor has its own personality and content.
Jimenez has adorned parks, plazas, and public spaces from San Diego to Washington, D.C. from El Paso to North Dakota with popular icons - sculptures whose brightness and ebullience speak to the perpetual newness of the American experience - whose formal elegance speaks to the antiquity of the traditions out of which the newness springs.
In 1993, he was a recipient of the New Mexico Governor's Awards for Excellence in the Arts. In 1998 he received a Distinguished Alumni award from the University of Texas in recognition of his artwork.
Since 1985, Jimenez has lived in Hondo, a small community nestled in fruit orchard country in southeastern New Mexico. His studio is in a former apple processing shed, and he resides in a renovated old schoolhouse with his wife, Susan, his sons, nine year old Adan, eight year old Orion, and his five-year-old daughter, Xochil. His eldest daughter lives in New York, where she creates fashions designs. He was killed in his studio in Hondo, NM on June 13, 2006, when a large section of Blue Mustang, intended for Denver International Airport, fell on him and severed an artery in his leg. The sculpture was based on the eight-foot-high sculpture Mesteño (Mustang), on display at the University of Oklahoma.
- Man on Fire, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington DC, 1969
- Vaquero, Moody Park, Houston, Texas, 1980
- Sodbuster, Wichita State university as part of the Ulrich Museum of art outdoor sculpture collection.
- Southwest Pieta, Longfellow Park, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 1983 (declared a national treasure by President Bill Clinton in 1999).
- Border Crossing, 10½ feet tall, Santa Fe, New Mexico and Los Angeles, California, 1989.
- Steelworker, 145½" x 71 x 37½ inches, Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, Alabama, 1990.
- Fiesta Jarabe, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM
- Cleveland Fallen Firefighters Memorial, Located at the corners of Erieside Ave. and Lerner Way, Cleveland, OH, 2007.
- Blue Mustang, Denver International Airport, Denver, Colorado, 2008.
- Albuquerque Museum, Albuquerque, New Mexico
- Arizona State University, Nelson Fine Arts Center Tempe, Arizona
-  Art Museum of Southeast Texas Beaumont, Texas
- Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, Texas
- Chazen Museum of Art, Madison, Wisconsin
- El Paso Museum of Art, El Paso, Texas
- Iowa State University, College of Family and Consumer Sciences, Ames, Iowa
- Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Missouri
- Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, California
- McCarran International Airport, Las Vegas, Nevada
- New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe, New Mexico
- Plains Art Museum, Fargo, North Dakota
- Roswell Museum and Art Center, Roswell, New Mexico
- Saint Louis University, St. Louis University Museum of Art, Saint Louis, Missouri
- Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.
- University of Arizona, Museum of Art, Tucson, Arizona
- University of Kansas, Helen Foresman Spencer Museum of Art, Lawrence, Kansas
- University of Oklahoma, Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, Norman, Oklahoma
- University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico
- University of Texas at El Paso, Library, El Paso, Texas
- University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas
- Utah Valley University, Woodbury Art Museum Orem, Utah
- Valley National Bank of Arizona, Fine Arts Department, Phoenix, Arizona
- Wichita State University, Edwin A. Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita, Kansas
- The Grace Museum, Abilene, Texas
- Numerous private collections
- Mcnay Museum of Art, San Antonio, TX
- The Ellen Noël Art Museum, Odessa, Texas
- Whitney, Kathleen (July–September 1997). "Luis Jimenez: Communities, Cultures and Controversies, Man On Fire". Sculpture Magazine.
- Yau, John (1994). "Looking at America the Art of Luis Jimenez"/ Man on Fire. pp. page 39–46. ISBN 0-8263-1551-8.
- Yau, John (1994). "Looking at America the Art of Luis Jimenez" /Man on Fire. pp. page 39–46. ISBN 0-8263-1551-8.
- Yau, John (1994). "Looking at America the Art of Luis Jimenez"/Man on Fire. pp. Page 41. ISBN 0-8263-1551-8.
- Kutner, Janet (June 1, 1997). ""Art and Soul: Luis Jimenez"/Dallas Morning News".
- Questions and Answers about Luis Jimenez' Southwestern Pieta - Hispanic Research Center, Arizona State University, 2001
- Curtis, Gregory (May 1997). ""Study In Stereotypes",". Texas Monthly.
- Brenson, Michael (1994). "Movement’s Knowledge", Luis Jimenez, Working Class Heroes, Images From the Popular Culture. 1994. pp. pages 11–20. ISBN 0-8263-1551-8.
- Hickey, Dave (1994). "Luis Jimenez and the Incarnation of Democracy", Working Class Heroes, Images From the Popular Culture. pp. pages 21–27. ISBN 0-8263-1551-8.
- "The Award Winners". New Mexico Museum of Art. Retrieved 13 January 2014.
- Willard, David (Sep 1998). ""Sculptor Luis Jimenez Receives UT's Distinguished Alumni Award"/Department of Art and Art History".
- "Luis Jiménez, Mesteño, 1997". Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, University of Oklahoma. Retrieved Nov 11, 2016.
- "Project Runway Official Biography". Bravo. Archived from the original on 2008-12-17. Retrieved 15 November 2007.
- Border Crossing. New Mexico Museum of Art http://www.nmartmuseum.org/site/about/sculpture/west-sculpture-garden/border-crossing.html. Retrieved 13 January 2014. Missing or empty
- Landis, Moore, et al., "Man on Fire, Luis Jiménez, El Hombre en Llamas, The Albuquerque Museum, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 1994
- Storey, Natalie, Artist Dies in Studio Accident, The Santa Fe New Mexican, June 14, 2006, page 1
- Stewart, Jocelyn Y. "Luis Jiménez Jr., 65; Artist Whose Sculptures Are on Public Display Nationwide," Los Angeles Times, Thursday, June 15, 2006.
- Copyright requests contact Artists Rights Society
- Smithsonian American Art Museum biography
- From the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art Image of Mesteño, smaller version of the sculpture that killed him.
- Johnson, Kirk. "And Behold a Big Blue Horse? Many in Denver Just Say Neigh," The New York Times, Monday, March 2, 2009.